Santa Barbara, CA (AmericanRugbyNews) - The first match of the 2010 men's Division I college playoffs turned into an exciting contest with Arkansas State beating St Mary's 29-23.
It was all ASU in the first forty minutes as the Red Wolves built a handy 22-3 halftime lead.
Dean Gericke (2), Danie Swanepoel and Roland Evans scored tries for Arkansas State.
Despite it becoming a stop-start kind of game, the ASU pack dominated the Gaels, particularly through the first frame, which helped to set a platform for the win.
The normally robust St Mary's side was shut down by a hard-nosed ASU defense, although the Gaels lifted in the second half to make a game of it. SMC got to within striking distance trailing 22-18 late in the piece, but a try by ASU extended the margin to 11 and that was too much of a gap to peg back.
Matt Hensley, Chad Clark and Andrew Cook all played well for St Mary's, while Roan Farr had a standout game for Arkansas State.
Matt Huckaby and the ASU Rugby will play San Diego State in the USA Rugby National Championship Series Quarterfinals. They are seeded 6th heading into playoff play. You can watch the Red Wolves live through the USA Rugby live stream here: http://www.ustream.tv/usarugby
The complete schedule is below with times in CST.
Friday, April 16th
Arkansas State 29, Saint Mary's 23
San Diego State 32, Bowling Green 15
Arizona 25, Syracuse 20
9:00 pm - BYU vs. Delaware
Saturday, April 17th
3:00 pm - Arkansas State vs. San Diego State
3:00 pm - Saint Mary's vs. Bowling Green
5:00 pm - Syracuse vs. BYU/Delaware Loser
5:00 pm - Arizona vs. BYU/Delaware Winner